"She had better NOT leave that meter running until I get there!"

I pick up this young man (19-ish) from downtown at the Hilton 'round about 12:30a not too long ago.

Me: Howdy. How ya doin'?

He: Oh, you know.

Me: Indeed I do. Where we off to tonight?

He: Tualatin. Lower Boones Ferry exit. You know it?

Me: Yup.

He: Any ideas how much this is going to cost?

Me: I'm glad you asked before we left. I'm thinkin' $30 at the outside. That going to be a problem?

He: Nah. Long as it doesn't go over that.

Me: I'm not doin' much else, I can get you down there for $30 tops if it goes over don't worry about it.

He: Really? That's cool. YOU'RE cool. Thanks!!

Me: Not a problem. Now tell me how your night's been going and why you're downtown at almost 1a. grin

He tells me about his new job, recent ex and their child and the problems with all that. We discuss his parents, basically his entire life.

We get down to his place, apt complex, about 20 mins later. He hands me plastic.

Me: Aw hell. If you would have told me it was credit I would have called it in before we left downtown. This going to be good?

He: Yeah, that's why I couldn't go over $30, that's all I have left in the acct.

Me: OK. And I.D.? He hands it up and I run the card.

Me: Hmmmmm. No good. You got cash?

He: No. Um. Hell. I'll be right back, let me check my apt for some cash.

He runs inside. I call my dispatcher and tell him what's going on and where I am. I wrote down this young mans add and apt # when I checked his I.D. I wait about 5 minutes, get the dispatcher on the phone again and go knock on his apt door.

He: Oh ... um ... hey. I was just ... um ... checking for any cash laying around. How did you ...? Oh. The I.D. right?

Me: Yup. It seemed to me like you weren't that much of a bastard when we were talking so I wanted to give you the chance to pay me before I just called the cops. What do you have to say?

He: Um. One sec ... ok? I won't close the door. Look. I'll stand right here and make a phone call.
dial ... ring .. Um ... Mom?? I need you to ... I know it's late but I ... I know mom. I'm sorry. But I ... MOM! Listen, OK? Please. I don't know what happened, I just looked at my bank account online and it says I have the money, but I have a cab driver here saying she is going to call the police because I can't pay the cab fare down here. I don't HAVE any cash mom. Yes, she took it all when she left. Yes mom. But ... what do I tell the driver? looking at me What are my options?

Me: Well, you pay the fare or you can go to jail. That's pretty much it.

He: starting to look a little panic-y. Mom! Did you hear her? Yes. Um ... I forgot. I think it was about $29. Right? to me

Me: Well, it was when we got here, but the meter runs until I get paid. So I imagine it's gone up a few dollars since you hopped outta the car.

He: Mom?!! What do I DO?? I don't know. I can ask. to me Can I use her card?

Me: Only if she signs the slip and I can see her I.D.

He: What if she ok's it?

Me: Nope. Has to be the card member themselves that sign the slip.

He: Um ... Mom?? What now?

Me: I can drive you to them. They'll have to pay the entire fare once I get you there.

He: HA! I don't think so. They're in Salem.

Me: It's only 35 or so miles. Another ... $70 give or take. Or I can call the police now. It's kinda cold out here ... what's it going to be?

He: Mom? I don't want to go to JAIL!! Help me!! What do I do? Ok... um ... then to me She's going to drive up here and pay you, how much is it?

Me: Well ... I imagine its at about $40 now, so by the time they get here ... maybe $60 or so.

And I hear from his phone, still attached to his head, from 3 feet away "She had better NOT leave that meter running until I get there!"

Me: Whoa. Well, unfortunately that's the law. Drive careful. I am going to wait in my car. She has 40 minutes to get here then I'm making a phone call.

He: I'll wait downstairs with you so you can see that I'm legitimate.

My dispatcher had been listening to the entire conversation from my phone, he said "Or at least his MOMMY is legitimate."

I snicker and walk off to the cab. He stands downstairs twiddling his thumbs.

It takes her 35 minutes to drive the 35 odd miles. She brought her husband. Neither one were very happy to see us.

The husband gets out of her car, in his p.j.'s and comes over to the cab and hands me a credit card to pay for the fare.

I run it, it's good. $67.00. No tip. Go figure. :o)

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